CBS executives, trying to duck the fallout from Dan Rather’s flawed report on President George W. Bush’s military service, hired firm run by former Rudy Giuliani aide—but billed a different company to hide it.
The Observer.com reports today CBS brought in SafirRosetti, a firm by Howard Safir, a man appointed to run by the New York City police and fire departments under King Rudy. But the political ties of the firm, and of Giuliani to the White House at that point, were too close for comfort.
The Observer found in court documents:
“At one point that fall, Thomas Cowley, a regional managing director at SafirRosetti, began working on the CBS account. As part of the investigation, SafirRosetti had hired Erik T. Rigler a former Navy aviator and F.B.I. agent to get to the bottom of the controversial documents at the heart of the affair.
On October 1, 2004, Mr. Cowley sent an email to one of his colleagues, specifying how the company would be billing CBS for all the field work. “We are presenting ourselves as ‘Valley Associates,'” he wrote at the time. “CBS wants to keep Howard [Safir] in the background.”
Rather is suing CBS and Viacom for $70 million.
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